Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - WorldBridge inks deal with truck maker

WorldBridge inks deal with truck maker

WorldBridge inks deal with truck maker

Local conglomerate WorldBridge International signed an agreement yesterday with Kamaz Foreign Trade Company, a Russian manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks, laying the groundwork for potential distribution across the country with the end goal of establishing an assembly plant in the Kingdom.

The three-stage memorandum of understanding (MoU) will see WorldBridge International conduct a three-month market survey to gauge the potential for Kamaz sales in Cambodia, explained chairman Sear Rithy. The second stage would then give the company sole distribution rights for heavy-duty Kamaz trucks that can be used for container shipping, construction and mining activities, with the final stage setting up a local assembly plant.

“If the deal works out we could be assembling the trucks within two to three years,” said Rithy, adding that plant would be established in Kerry WorldBridge Logistics SEZ, a joint venture between WorldBridge and Hong Kong-listed Kerry Logistic Network Ltd.

While Rithy said the MoU only represents a framework for cooperation with the Russian company, he said the long-term vision is to cut down on Cambodia’s high logistics costs.

“The purpose of this [agreement] is that if you look at Cambodia, our logistics costs are two to three times more expensive then neighbouring countries, and most of the trucks here are second-hand,” he said. “This [distribution deal] could bring in new more affordable trucks into the market that would help drive down the costs of logistics.”

Kamaz trucks, which are currently manufactured in Russia’s Tatarstan region, rose to prominence during the Soviet era for their use by Eastern Bloc militaries. Moscow briefly provided free Kamaz trucks to the Cambodian government in the 1980s.

Tronin Artem, sales representative for Kamaz operations in Vietnam and Eastern Asia, said the company has proven successful in Vietnam by doubling its sales in the last two years despite road weight restrictions limiting their use.

“We have signed this document because we have found a strong partner to help us enter the [Cambodian] market,” he said.

While Artem declined to estimate how many trucks Kamaz could sell in Cambodia, claiming that it was too early to tell, he said the company would target the 15- to 25-tonne segment used for construction and container shipments.

“Right now we are just seeing if there is an import market for us here before we move forward with the other stages of the MoU,” he said. “We have been seeing growth in our overseas sales worldwide and we think Cambodia could potentially be a good market. But we will only move forward when the time is right.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro